Keen is launching “The Keen Effect,” a fan-activated grants program created to support responsible outdoor participation. The American outdoor company, best known for its footwear but also now branching out into outdoor clothing, asks fans and customers to nominate community organizations that promote responsible outdoor participation.
Organizations around the world are eligible for these grants. Keen will distribute a total of $100,000 to around 25 organizations to bring their projects to life. Applications are only being accepted from tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. Grants to organizations outside the U.S. are available in two categories: up to $2,500 or up to $10,000.
Besides raising responsible outdoor participation, projects must fulfill a series of other requirements including innovation, creativity and good objectives. In addition, projects should involve interaction with Keen online and leverage social media technology. The company said that it will give special consideration to proposals aiming to introduce new audiences to the outdoors. Criteria for The Keen Effect have been established by Keen in partnership with The Outdoor Foundation.
The deadline for submission is Dec. 6, 2013. Award recipients will be announced on Jan. 6, 2014. Projects must begin in early 2014 and must be completed by September 2014. The final online report must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2014.
Through its corporate giving program, named Hybrid.Care, Keen has distributed since its creation, in 2004, over $7 million in cash and resources to non-profit organizations around the world. This is because Keen produces hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags and socks. Its products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in the Keen Garage retail stores in Portland, Palo Alto, Tokyo, Prague and Toronto.